As we celebrate the launch of Framework, Brentano’s first ever collaboration with Gensler, product design consultants, we sat down with our fabulous Founder and Design Director, Iris Wang. We discussed the story behind the Framework Collection and learned more about how a collaboration and collection like this comes to fruition.
When asked about the ethos behind the collection, Iris draws upon her initial conversations with Gensler and their mutual desire to create a family of fabrics that were suitable for “large, layered environments that are defined by the dialogue between multiple, distinct textures”.
As their conversations progressed it became clear that modern monochromatic schemes were equally as important; there was a shared ambition to create harmonious, clearly related color stories that could be kept consistent throughout a space. Iris found “working with designers with such incredible experience and to watch them select colors and verbalize what they want [to be] really enjoyable”. A keen connoisseur of color herself, Iris, ever the student, reveled in the ability to converse with her contemporaries and really take the time to explore the emotional side of color and how it can positively affect one’s wellbeing.
Indeed, when asked what the most difficult aspect of creating the collections was, she was quick to answer “color”. Brentano developed a deep palette of colors that are available across the majority of the collection. This was necessary to create “the building blocks of design that was the ethos for the Framework collection”. This sincere and dedicated commitment to creating custom yarn colors, developed with all our mills all over the world, ensured consistent, creative and complementary colorways. The results speak for themselves with gorgeous, contemporary and unique hues like Pale Grape, Wooden Pencil Cherry Tomato and Bright Bluestone.
Brentano is well known for our patterns, but more recently we have focused on creating a range of gorgeous yet practical anchor fabrics. The Framework collection is wholly texture based, with only a couple of very discreet patterns, as such we wanted to know if Iris felt this was the direction modern interiors were headed in. In short, she said “absolutely!”. Iris felt that while patterns remain important “the intensity of daily life has seen people seek more refuge in their surroundings, which they frequently want to be calm, relaxing and non-challenging” and that’s why, although a fabulous pattern will always resonate, there is a grounding, very human appeal to spaces built around interesting, complementary textures.
To create these textures Iris had to employ some really interesting and varied constructions. For example the “tight, knitted boucle of ‘Huddle’, almost looks similar to a lamb’s wool; it uses a shuttle loom to create a highly dimensional look that is sophisticated but fun at the same time”. For sister patterns ‘Plot, Query and Sequence’, Iris and her team had to work with a mill that could use a double beam construction with a filler yarn to “create stunning matelassé fabrics that are truly modern versions of a popular classic”.
Having worked on the collection for so long (over two years!), we asked Iris if there were any particular favorites among the sixteen patterns. Obviously, she “loves them all”, but for her, ‘Notes’ is the first of two standouts. “It seems to be a simple plain weave, but because both the warp and weft have a twisted gimp yarn, it has a beautiful organic look”, giving Notes a sense of subtle beauty and a soft, inviting hand. ‘Tune’ is another favorite also because of its fabulous hand and its “gentle texture”. In addition Iris loves the versatility of Tune as its suitable for upholstery but also doubles as a dapper panel fabric. Plus the “underlying hues look really rich and sophisticated”; ‘Tune’ really embodies Brentano’s continued focus on beauty + performance.
Iris, like the rest of us, is excited to be launching this stunning collection and she hopes “this handsome and versatile selection of fabrics will add a touch of fun, brightness and vitality during these tough times”. The whole team is proud of this collection and the relationships forged in our first ever product design collaboration. We simply can’t wait to see these stunning fabrics in chic homes, hotels and work spaces across the world.